When embarking on any project, the hardest part is knowing where to begin. But as the Guiding Principles of ITIL Practitioner recommend, my view is that you should start where you are.
I recently put these principles into practice when completing a strategic review of our IT services to explore how we could improve our service management capabilities. At the start of the project I worked with a vendor to undertake an ITIL maturity assessment of each of our 20 service management processes. From this review, we could then identify our challenges, weak points and opportunities and, in turn, develop recommendations and changes to improve.
But as well as revealing areas where change could bring additional benefit, through the maturity assessment we could also spot existing processes and tools that were actually working well and could be leveraged to deliver our aims and objectives.
By completing this exercise and starting where we were, our IT team and the wider business realized numerous benefits:
By knowing what was fit for purpose and what needed improvement, we were able to focus on the right things and eliminate extra work, time and cost.
From reviewing our 20 processes we saw that change management was an issue and found that our development teams were not engaged early enough in the creation of new business services. As we identified the specific problem, we were able to enhance existing processes to make planning slicker and ensure changes happen seamlessly in the future.
Without the maturity assessment, we might not have identified this specific issue and could’ve made wider business changes that were unnecessary and costly.
A quicker result
By making informed and targeted changes, we were also able to make a difference and achieve our objectives more efficiently.
Many organizations change lots of things at once. However, if you focus on revising exactly what you need and don’t try to do everything altogether you’ll see the benefits more quickly.
In fact, it’s this race to get a result that means some IT professionals change things they really don’t need to. Due to management pressures, changes in the market or competitor activity many organizations forge ahead without considering what they are trying to achieve. Consequently, they make changes or start from scratch to get a result, but often the outcome isn’t the right result.
By starting where they are and taking the time to assess whether processes could just be tweaked rather than completely re-designed, businesses will achieve a better quality of service that meets requirements, and faster.
By beginning with a maturity assessment we were also able to mitigate risks within our business.
With any change there is an element of risk, so IT professionals must make a considered choice before going ahead: is a change absolutely necessary? Do the benefits outweigh the threats? These are the key questions you must answer to ensure a balance is achieved.
While some IT professionals may view this more considered approach to change as lengthy and arduous, by putting in the time in upfront and starting where they are organizations will ensure that what they do achieve is fit for purpose.
Start Where You Are is just one of the nine Guiding Principles of ITIL Practitioner. To find out more, visit the ITIL Practitioner page.
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